Day in and day out I see this dichotomy between the desire for rapid weight loss and longing for sustainable lifestyle changes.
As a practitioner, the following internal dialogue begins to churn:
- Has there been a string of previously failed “diets”
- Are there signs of good food/bad food, black/white thought patterns
- Is food used to soothe stress, loneliness, lack of purpose/connection more than physical hunger
If any of the above light up, the focus of my session turns to addressing one’s relationship with food. And the relationship with food usually evolves to be much more than food. A slew of unmet needs broader than any particular cookie surfaces —> unfulfilling career, lack of social connection, disengaged with purpose, feelings of loneliness, difficulty parenting, etc. There is a root to all of this and it takes a lot to untangle.
As a practitioner, it is a delicate mix of untangling the root whilst providing useful strategies for healing one’s relationship with food. Similar to having an unhappy childhood, it takes years to heal in adulthood. Upstream conflict creates downstream effects. If we think back on our baby and early childhood years, it was simple. We ate when we were hungry and stopped when we were full (mostly).